Ontario has shut down its coal power plants. One of those coal power plants was Atikokan. What OPG decided to do (because they needed dispatchable power) was to convert the plant to biomass. And that biomass was wood pellets. Not just any wood pellets. It was “Advanced Biomass”.
Advanced biomass has been treated to withstand exposure to rain, and has handling and storage properties similar to those of coal. It is still in the early stages of development, which is why OPG purchases advanced biomass fuel from Norway.
Before we get to CO2 and squandering hundreds of millions to change from one fuel you burn to anther fuel you burn …. you may ask yourself why you need to make wood pellets waterproof.
Wet biomass catches on fire. Or explodes.
Biomass fuel has a wide range of possible refuse items: pellets, chip logs, forestry, sewage sludge, methane, meat and bone, palm kernels, cereal, sawdust, bioenergy crops, or landfill gas. When a biomass fuel is stored in a pile, waiting for transport or use, the biomass can spontaneously heat through oxidation. In order for this to happen, three conditions must sync: rate of heat generation, air supply, and insulation properties of the immediate surroundings. With most biomass material, there is a high moisture content combined with air and/or bacterial fermentation – both of which can cause spontaneous combustion through oxidation.
Back to CO2. The study I have referenced before told us that wood pellets (especially those transported long distances like USA to UK) produce way more CO2 than coal. So I would assume that if you buy wood pellets from Norway, your power plant is producing more CO2 than if you had not spent 170 million and were still burning coal.
‘Green’ logic confuses me.Killing Norwegian forests and turning the wood into special waterproof pellets and then using a lot of fossil fuel to ship it to Ontario to burn in a
closed down resurrected coal power plant seems crazy to me.